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Eur J Pharmacol. 2002 May 10;442(3):215-23.

Dicinnamoylquinides in roasted coffee inhibit the human adenosine transporter.

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  • 1Institute for Coffee Studies, Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


Preliminary screening of a minor, non-xanthine constituent of roasted coffee, 3,4-diferuloyl-1,5-quinolactone (DIFEQ), showed inhibition of the adenosine transporter at low micromolar concentration. DIFEQ is a neutral derivative of the chlorogenic acids, i.e. isomeric mono- and di-substituted coumaroyl-, caffeoyl-, and feruloyl-esters of quinic acid, formed in the roasting process of coffee. Displacement of the adenosine transporter antagonist [(3)H](S)-(nitrobenzyl)-6-thioinosine binding by DIFEQ in cultured U-937 cell preparations, expressing the human adenosine transporter protein (hENT1), showed a K(i) of 0.96+/-0.13 microM. Extracts of regular and decaffeinated coffee showed binding activities equivalent to 30-40 mg DIFEQ per three cups of coffee. Acute administration of a high dose of DIFEQ (100 mg/kg i.p.) reduced open field locomotion in mice for 20 min in correlation with brain levels of DIFEQ. Both 3,4-dicaffeoyl-1,5-quinide and 3,4-dicoumaroyl-1,5-quinide, two close structural analogs of DIFEQ also present in roasted coffee, showed similar affinities for the adenosine transporter, while the corresponding 3- and 4-mono caffeoyl- and feruloyl-quinides were one to two orders of magnitudes less active. This suggests that 3,4-dicinnamoyl-1,5-quinides in coffee could have the potential to raise extra-cellular adenosine levels, thereby counteracting the stimulant effect of caffeine.

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